The Great Medicine Road, Part 1: Narratives of the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails, 18400

The Great Medicine Road, Part 1: Narratives of the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails, 18400

by Michael L. Tate, Will Bagley, Richard Rieck
     
 

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Between 1841 and 1866, more than 500,000 people followed trails to Oregon, California, and the Salt Lake Valley in one of the greatest mass migrations in American history. This collection of travelers’ accounts of their journeys in the 1840s, the first volume in a new series of trail narratives, comprises excerpts from pioneer and missionary letters, diaries,

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Overview

Between 1841 and 1866, more than 500,000 people followed trails to Oregon, California, and the Salt Lake Valley in one of the greatest mass migrations in American history. This collection of travelers’ accounts of their journeys in the 1840s, the first volume in a new series of trail narratives, comprises excerpts from pioneer and missionary letters, diaries, journals, and memoirs—many previously unpublished—accompanied by biographical information and historical background.

Beginning with Father Pierre-Jean de Smet’s letters relating his encounters with Plains Indians, and ending with an account of a Mormon gold miner’s journey from California to Salt Lake City, these narratives tell varied and vivid stories. Some travelers fled hard times: religious persecution, the collapse of the agricultural economy, illness, or unpredictable weather. Others looked ahead, attracted by California gold, the verdant Willamette Valley of Oregon, or the prospect of converting Native people to Christianity. Although many welcomed the adventure and adjusted to the rigors of trail life, others complained in their accounts of difficulty adapting.

Remembrances of the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails have yielded some of the most iconic images in American history. This and forthcoming volumes in The Great Medicine Road series present the pioneer spirit of the original overlanders supported by the rich scholarship of the past century and a half.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780870624285
Publisher:
University of Oklahoma Press
Publication date:
10/17/2014
Series:
The American Trails Series, #24
Pages:
344
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author


Michael L. Tate is Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, and author of The Frontier Army in the Settlement of the West and Indians and Emigrants: Encounters on the Overland Trail.

Will Bagley is an independent historian who has written about overland emigration, frontier violence, railroads, mining, and the Mormons. Bagley has published extensively over the years and is the author and editor of many books, articles, and reviews in professional journals. Bagley is the series editor of Arthur H. Clark Company's documentary history series, KINGDOM IN THE WEST: The Mormons and the American Frontier. Bagley has been a Wallace Stegner Centennial Fellow at the University of Utah and the Archibald Hannah, Jr. Fellow in American History at Yale University's Beinecke Library. Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows has won numerous awards including a Spur Award from Western Writers of America, the Bancroft History Prize from the Denver Public Library, Westerners International Best Book, and the Western History Association Caughey Book Prize for the most distinguished book on the history of the American West. So Rugged and Mountainous: Blazing the Trails to Oregon and California, 1812-1848 is the first of four volumes of Overland West: The Story of the Oregon and California Trails Series.

Richard Rieck is Professor Emeritus of Geography at Western Illinois University. 

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